Only a slight rain delay held up an exciting first day of the HSBC Women’s Champions at Tanah Merah Country Club with three players tied at the top on five under par.
Americans Jane Park and Paula Creamer were joined by Angela Park of Brazil out in front after rounds of 67. Seon Hwa Lee of Korea bogeyed the final hole to slip into second spot with Japanese star Ai Miyazato. Defending champion Lorena Ochoa sits at three under par with four others all ready to pounce on day two.
Ochoa is looking forward to shooting a lower score tomorrow saying, “I didn’t make any bogeys and I made a few birdies so hopefully I can make a few more birdies tomorrow. I think I need to be a little bit more aggressive and hopefully I can go a little lower.”
Angela Park feels her game is going really well this week and feels she has an advantage having played in the inaugural event; “It’s playing a little different this week, especially because the greens are a lot softer so you’ve got to attack the pins a little more. But yes, it’s a huge advantage playing last year.”
Creamer started her day feeling a little sick. After her round she explained, “The beginning part I was very sick, very nauseous. And during the middle of the round to the last couple of holes, my body felt terrible, like chills and aching and all of that. Now I feel better just sitting down inside. But I went through many different feelings today, not just one pinpoint.”
Local entrant and youngest in the field, Joey Poh scored a respectable six over round of 78 and enjoyed her first experience of an LPGA event. She said, “I had fun and thought I played quite well. I made a few wrong club selections, being a bit too aggressive at times but my driving and putting were good today so I just went for the greens and had confidence I would make the putts.”
Playing alongside Poh was Scotland’s Catriona Matthew who ended on even par. She had many words of encouragement for the 15 year old; “She hit a lot of good shots, just a couple of bad holes. She played the 15th hole well and had a couple of kick-in birdies. Her chips are nice and straight. I was very impressed.”
Given the uncertain weather this week, tomorrow’s tee-off will move forward to 8am from both the first and tenth tees. Ochoa will begin her round at 9.30am and the leading pack will bring up the rear at 10am.
– but the sailors praise the new boats